After a year of star-studded celebrations, "Saturday Night Live" slapped an exclamation point on its 40th season.
Louis C.K. waltzed through a minefield of touchy subjects in his opening monologue, eliciting both laughs and gasps from the audience with his irreverently ascerbic brand of humor.
“I do have mild racism," he said. "It's the best I can do, coming out of the 70s. It was a very racist decade. People said racist things all the time, and nobody got offended. The only time somebody got offended if you said something racist in the 70s was if you interrupted somebody, and they'd say, 'Hey, I was about to say something racist!'"
From there, the veteran "SNL" host steered into even deeper waters, comparing his daughters' bickering to the tense political rivalry between Israel and Palestine.
"My kids are like Israel and Palestine, and I'm America," he said. "You share a room! We can't afford another room! So just deal with it!"
And to top it off, C.K. wrapped his routine with a rumination on how everyone in his hometown knew about a local pedophile.
"How do you think I feel?" he said as the audience howled after a particularly stinging joke. "This is my last show, probably."
C.K. skirted even more controversy in another sketch, as he mimicked the voice of a Sprint store manager (Leslie Jones) to stay in her good graces.
"Damn, Brenda, where'd you get those nails did?" his character asks her. "They on fleek."
In a musical opening sketch, Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) visited picnic tables and sandy beaches to make her presidential case to "18-to-25-year-olds," albeit with mixed results.
"I love that tandem bike," she said, running on the beach alongside a pedaling couple (Taran Killam and Vanessa Bayer).
"You're running on the beach in a wool suit," Bayer's character replied. "Aren't you hot?"
"I'm hot for America!" Clinton chirped back.
On "Weekend Update," co-host Michael Che attempted to conduct a hard-hitting interview with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (Killam) over his alleged role in deflating footballs during the AFC Championship — even if Brady's irrepressible charm softened Che's fellow co-host Colin Jost.
“You’re gonna stop being likeable and answer my questions," Che insisted. "Do you feel any responsibility for the Patriots' million-dollar fine and loss of two draft picks?"
"You know, it's a great question, and I admire your passion," Brady said. "I know my wife does, too."
“Tom, I don't — wait, Giselle talked about me?"
Colin Jost welcomed Resident Young Person Pete Davidson to the "Weekend Update" desk to celebrate Davidson's turning 21.
"I just moved out of my mom's house, because my mom was just driving me crazy," Davidson said.
"You should have talked to her about it," Jost said.
"That's not my style, Colin. I was raised by a woman. When you're raised by a woman, you tell everybody about the problem — except for the person you actually have the problem with."
And in a season 40 finale of his own, Che's high school friend Riblet (Bobby Moynihan) made one more visit to the desk to try and beat Che at his own "jorb."
Rihanna, as always, was peerless in her fifth appearance on the Studio 8H stage. She opened her set with a performance of “Better Have My Money,” the camera angle starting inside a car as she drove away from police and sang simultaneously.
And her performance of "American Oxygen" was backlit by iconic American images of triumph and brutality, from protests and police beatings to space shuttle launches and President Obama’s inauguration.
“SNL” will return in the fall with season number 41, but fans can tide themselves over on May 23, with a repeat showing of the March 28 episode featuring Dwayne Johnson and musical guest George Ezra.